6 Day Orientation. Is It Enough?


Hi everyone!

I just finished up my CNA clinicals and only have to sit for the boards but, I am 99% sure I am going to be getting a PCA position at my local hospital which I am really excited about. I have to learn phlebotomy and EKGs which are entirely new to me.

During the interview the woman told me that PCAs have a 6 day orientation. I asked if that was in addition to my learning about phleb and EKGs. She said no that I would learn all that in my orientation. She also said that 2nd shift doesn't really do a lot of blood draws and that 3rd shift does them and that I will learn first, do supervised draws and then be on my own. I was concerned because there seems to be so much to know concerning these two things. I talked to my friend who has been a tech for years and she said that drawing blood is scary at first but after doing about 5 draws that I would be fine. My CNA instructor who has been an RN for 29 years said that the trickiest thing is the angle of the needle. Another concern is that I feel since it is such a short learning experience and being that my shift won't be doing that many that I will never become efficient in the process. Especially since some veins seem impossible to find!

So as techs do you feel this orientation is more than enough? Any tips, books, websites, videos on these procedures?


I would just like to add that I am extremely nervous in regards to drawing blood because of a bad experience I had a few years ago. I have had the procedure done hundreds of times and NEVER had any issues and the procedure was always done in minutes. Then one day at my docs office this young girl went to draw and she had a horrible time and I ended up having blood trickling down my arm. She then went to my other arm and the same thing happened! I was also in a lot of pain and had bruises!! Now I am nervous I will do the same thing!

6 days does not seem like enough training. The hospital that I work at has 4-6 weeks of orientation for PCAs.


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Wow I forgot I made this thread.

It was a 6 day orientation BUT that was just for the general hospital -what-we-stand-for-what-we-do-benefits etc. We also learned a small amount concerning out jobs but not enough. I still know nothing about drawing blood. We didn't even learn to tie a tourniquet!

However I have an amazing preceptor and am learning so much. My only gripe is that it is on first shift and while I love the people I HATE first shift. Thankfully I'll be going to seconds soon.

Oh okay that sounds a lot better, yeah I had about the same amount of days for my hospital orientation. After day 5 I was pretty glad it was over.